Education Week - March 13, 2019 - 1


Education Week
VOL. 38, NO. 25 * MARCH 13, 2019

AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2019 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 6 

New Texts Failed
To Lift Test Scores
In Six-State Study


There always
seem to be two
sides to a discussion.
Though this is true
in most instances,
this is not true in the
vaccine debate."

PAGE 17 >

Taking the Guesswork
Out of Teacher Hiring

Eman Mohammed for Education Week

By Stephen Sawchuk
Replacing a math textbook is unlikely to generate large boosts in student achievement on its own,
concludes a new study that stands in contrast to
earlier research suggesting stronger benefits from
overhauling learning materials.
In results even the researchers struggled to interpret, none of 14 math textbooks studied was consistently linked to gains in 4th and 5th grade student
test scores collected from hundreds of schools in
six states. They also found few differences in student learning between textbooks written before the
Common Core State Standards were put into place
in those states and those textbooks purportedly designed to match the standards.
The findings don't imply that textbooks are interchangeable, since the study did not specifically
address the relative quality of the materials. But
the study does hint that textbook effectiveness may
be closely tied to how the books are adapted and
used by teachers, and probably how well teachers
are trained to use them.
It's also possible that some of the textbooks did
show smaller effects that the study couldn't detect.
In all, the researchers underscored that district
officials should still consider things like content
alignment when making curriculum decisions-
but such factors may only go so far when it comes
to their impact.
"Using a better frying pan doesn't necessarily
mean you make a better omelet," said Thomas Kane,
a professor of education at Harvard University and
the faculty director of the Center for Education Policy Research, which conducted the study, released

Ethan Lindenberger, a high school senior from Norwalk, Ohio, testifies at a U.S. Senate committee hearing last week on vaccines. When he turned 18,
Lindenberger got vaccinated after his mother, relying on false information that he could be harmed, refused to vaccinate him as a child.

A Fight to Halt Misinformation and Boost Vaccinations
Students a
Challenge for
Schools Amid

By Madeline Will
Imagine a world where school districts' hiring departments can predict the longevity and effectiveness
of a teacher before she steps foot into a classroom.
It's a scenario that's proved difficult to make reality,
but a body of emerging research is making inroads.
There are a handful of research-practitioner partnerships across the country working to improve teacher
hiring through a strategic approach to job interviews,
recommendations, and resume screenings.
"The basic question [behind the research] is,
'How can schools do a better job of choosing among
applications who to hire?' " said Aaron Sojourner,
a labor economist at the University of Minnesota.
"The current state of practice is pretty idiosyncratic, pretty uneven."
Sojourner and other researchers partnered
with the Minneapolis school district to determine
whether teachers' resumes can predict how effective they'll be in the classroom and how long they'll
stay. The researchers studied seven years of teachers' resumes, as well as subsequent teacher-evaluation and retention data on hires.
"In many ways, it's very sensible," Sojourner said.
Researchers found that teacher applicants with
relevant work experience were more likely to be
PAGE 13 >


By Evie Blad
The effects of an ongoing measles outbreak centered
in Washington state have spread well beyond the patients who've contracted the virus, creating logistical challenges for schools and public health officials,
who've spent $1 million to contain the illness.
School-age vaccine mandates have been credited
with practically eradicating many severe illnesses. In
2000, for example, public health officials declared that
measles had been eliminated.
But some parents' refusal to vaccinate their children-
fueled by misinformation and a distrust in public institutions-has once again given those diseases a foothold
in some communities as vaccination rates fall below recommended thresholds, those officials say.

Creating Schools
That Put Students
Center Stage
What does it take to
assure that a school
serves the student,
rather than the
other way around,
in everything from
engagement and
security to the
lunch schedule
and clean air? This
Education Week
special section
takes a look.

See the pullout section opposite Page 12.

Now legislators in states like Colorado, Oregon, and
Washington are debating ways to reverse the trend by
promoting parent education and moving to close broad
philosophical and "personal belief" loopholes in state law
that allow families to opt out of vaccine requirements for
reasons that aren't medical or religious.
And at the national level, lawmakers and federal
agencies are calling for further research on those parents' decisions to find ways to address their concerns,
halt misinformation, and improve rates of vaccination
in the future.
"There always seem to be two sides to a discussion,"
Ethan Lindenberger, a senior at Norwalk High School in
Norwalk, Ohio, told the U.S. Senate's health and education committee last week. "Though this is true in most
PAGE 12>

Schools Finding Record Numbers
of Homeless Students, Study Says
By Sarah D. Sparks
States have never found so many
homeless students in public schools
before. The next challenge will be
finding ways to keep those students in school long enough to earn
a diploma.
Nearly 1.36 million children-more
than all the students in New York
City-went to school in 2017 without
knowing where they would sleep at
night, finds a new report by the national campaign Education Leads
Home, which looked at new national
data as well as graduation rates
for homeless students in 26 states.

That's a jump of more than 100,000
students from 2016, making 2017 an
all-time high since the group began
tracking in 2007.
"Homelessness is not just not
having housing. ... It goes above
and beyond poverty," said Barbara
Duffield, the executive director of
SchoolHouse Connection, which cowrote the report with three other
groups, the America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the
Institute for Children, Poverty, and
Homelessness. "There's so much
that goes into homelessness, in
terms of trauma ... these students
PAGE 9 >

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 13, 2019